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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rest Stop


What a difference a day makes!! We passed through numerous squalls Friday as the front passed to the west; once through, we had nicely calming conditions, and a bit of sunshine for a change. We are transiting the Bahamas, and reached the Jumentos by the end of the day, where we anchored off Raccoon Cay in House Bay just before sunset. The Ragged Islands and the Jumentos are a very remote part of the southern Bahamas, and extremely isolated…there is only one settlement of about 100 souls along this archipelago. (Not that we saw anyone; Raccoon Cay is uninhabited and we didn't get off the boat.) As Ron said, it’s about “ten feet from the end of the world.”  


Since we needed to rest, renew, recharge a bit, doing so in the lee of such a pretty anchorage was perfect. We had no difficulties anchoring in the sand in a good 10’ of water, put up the "Q" flag, then immediately set to relaxing. We gave Ally a call on the satellite phone to let her know where we were, having “pulled over” for the night. 

Our "rest area" for the night
We had a leisurely dinner of Butcher Bobby’s utterly amazing rib veal chops,  steamed asparagus and garlic mashed red potatoes (complete with a goodly amount of butterrrr!) along with a couple cocktails to celebrate our passage so far.  The rib chops were indeed unbelievably good – grilled medium-rare after being rubbed with olive oil, crushed rosemary and just a suspicion of garlic – and were a perfect accompaniment to our happy mood. We barely made it through part of a movie before we crashed into bed, sleeping deeply, soundly and well in our protected anchorage.  Great rest stop!

The next morning the sun greeted us, as did light winds and calm seas. We had time to tidy up, do laundry, re-batten the saloon, and plot various courses to Great Inagua and thence to Porto Plata, DR. If the seas prevail as forecast, we should have a fairly good run: light winds with 5-7’ seas in a mostly easterly swell. I’ll take moderate swells any day over short, steep and choppy waves! SO…onward we press. The engines are running well, and the whole boat seems much quieter than it has in the past. We’re thinking that moving the hydraulic pump is the reason; placed where it was previously -- outboard near the hull  -- made it resonate noisily through the boat. What a pleasure to have it so quiet now! The port engine still has some minor issue on its coolant side of things, running a few degrees warmer than the stbd engine, but both are running well, and again, much quieter. Love it!!

Right now as I write, Ron is prepping the fishing gear, for if the conditions are good offshore, we’ll drag a few lines as we go. We have time to slow down and fish if need be, so that we don’t arrive anywhere in the middle of the night. May the seas and wind favor us, and good cruising conditions continue!

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